written and illustrated by Dallas Clayton
Source: Orange County Public Library
It's time for classroom teachers to start thinking about the start of the upcoming year. Part of that process is picking out books to share in the first week of class where everyone is getting to know each other and being brave in a new classroom. To allay the fears of possible wailers in the hallway (not the Wailers who played with Bob Marley, but the weepers and gnashers of teeth who aren't quite ready to come back to school yet. Teachers included.), I bring you Lily the Unicorn. Lily is the being that we all need in our lives. She is super positive and loves living a life that explores and finds joy in everything. She likes to make things with the help of her expanded imagination. Dallas Clayton does a fantastic job of showcasing this by filling two pages with several labeled items that Lily has made. The colors are a match for Lily's exuberance. She also likes making music and making a mess. But her favorite thing is making friends. She meets Roger, who is a tough nut to crack. He is a penguin who doesn't like very much. The Antarctic (Can't say polar since he's a penguin.) opposite of Lily. She plans adventures to help Roger loosen up, but he wants no part of it. Lily suggests games they could play, but Roger is not interested. So why is Roger so reticent? He is afraid. The world scares him. Roger sees problems at every turn and he is afraid of failing, especially at making friends. With a few words, Lily convinces him that everything will be okay.
Starting the school year is tough for some kids. Reassuring them that it will be okay is part of my job. Books like Lily the Unicorn help tell students that the world is a wonderful place to experience and that plenty of support will be available. Friends are all around and the great thing about starting school is the opportunity to add to your support group. If you are looking for a book to build the confidence of your new students in K-2, introduce them to a most optimistic unicorn. You might also try this sign as well.